Minature railway extension comes to a hault

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A BID to lengthen Scotland’s oldest miniature railway line is stuck in its tracks whilst waiting on the go-ahead from council planners.

Kerr’s Miniature Railway near Arbroath in Angus, which is opening for its 78th season, is unable to extend its line along to the entrance of the park where a new playground has been moved to.

They put together a plan to double the length of their line in February this year but council bosses have yet to receive any application from architects

Until today (Fri), the family run business understood the track extension was being considered by council bosses.

But they have now found out their architects have still to discuss health and safety issues around the line with the council, and the application has not yet been submitted.

A spokeswoman for Angus Council said: “We’ve received no planning application to date but that the principle of extending/developing an existing attraction is one that is supported by the council’s planning policies.

Calum McLeish, owner of CM Design and Build, the mini railway’s architechts, said: “We’ve not actually put in the application yet.

“We’re trying to organise a meeting with the council because we’ve got to consider health and safety.

“But one way or another, this line will be extended.”

The extension comes in response to a £500,000 upgrade at West Links Park, where the railway is based, which lies a quarter-mile (0.4 km) to the west of Arbroath Harbour, along the North Sea coast.

Proprietor of Kerr’s Miniature Railway, Jill Kerr, said: “This is all a bit mysterious.”

Mrs Kerr said she was under the impression the situation was being dealt with by the architects firm.

She added: “The new park is marvellous but because they put it at the entrance no one knows we exist.

“The problem is the children’s playground was moved to the entrance of West Links Park and people don’t want to walk over to us or don’t know about the train.

“Our current line is a quarter of a mile up and back the park, and ideally we’d like the train line extension to run adjacent with the playground.”

Kerr’s Miniature Railway is now using a miniature fire engine and bus to transport children along the half mile to the railway entrance.

The proposal to double the length of the line is aimed at boosting visitor numbers to the railway line as well as for the rest of the park.

 

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